Bashar Al Assad visits Aleppo



BEIRUT // Syria's president, Bashar Al Assad, visited Aleppo to take a first-hand look at the fighting between government forces and rebels and ordered 30,000 more troops into battle, a Lebanese newspaper said yesterday.

The Al-Diyar daily, which is known for its pro-Assad stance, said the president had flown by helicopter at dawn from the presidential palace in Damascus to Aleppo.

It did not specify what day the trip started but said that Mr Al Assad was still in the city. He decided to visit to verify reports that the situation there had become very serious.

Rebels mounted a new offensive last week to seize the city, which was until July firmly under Mr Al Assad's control. They claim to hold most of the Old City but are struggling to hang on to their positions in the face of heavy artillery fire.

In the capital yesterday, the Syrian army rained shells on rebel bastions. The fresh offensive in Damascus came hours after UN chief Ban Ki-moon urged the regime to show compassion to its people.

A bombardment by the army of the rebel-held Harasta district in the capital killed at least 11 people, two of them women, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

A Hizbollah commander and several other fighters from the Lebanese Shiite militant group have been killed in Syria, a Lebanese security official said yesterday.

* With additional reporting by Agence France-Presse and Associated Press

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Andy Murray - hip

Novak Djokovic - elbow

Roger Federer - back

Stan Wawrinka - knee

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Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
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Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home.

Tax authority targets shisha levy evasion

The Federal Tax Authority will track shisha imports with electronic markers to protect customers and ensure levies have been paid.

Khalid Ali Al Bustani, director of the tax authority, on Sunday said the move is to "prevent tax evasion and support the authority’s tax collection efforts".

The scheme’s first phase, which came into effect on 1st January, 2019, covers all types of imported and domestically produced and distributed cigarettes. As of May 1, importing any type of cigarettes without the digital marks will be prohibited.

He said the latest phase will see imported and locally produced shisha tobacco tracked by the final quarter of this year.

"The FTA also maintains ongoing communication with concerned companies, to help them adapt their systems to meet our requirements and coordinate between all parties involved," he said.

As with cigarettes, shisha was hit with a 100 per cent tax in October 2017, though manufacturers and cafes absorbed some of the costs to prevent prices doubling.


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